Marco Rubio and Friends

February 22, 2018

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CNN hosted a town hall last night with students and parents’ victims of  American blindness, gun violence.The students were invariably articulate, seeing through the intellectually bankrupt arguments for among other things, easy access to assault weapons.

Then there was the hack from the NRA a former right wing talk show host and Breitbart editor Dana Loesch who kept blathering on about “the crazy shooter.”Last year Loesch made a fool of herself when she pillories progressives for”“their media to assassinate real news.” NRA members members needed to confront “this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth”.

Britain’s Guardian wrote:

The cover of her popular 2014 book, Hands Off My Gun: Defeating the Plot to Disarm America, shows her holding a rifle while wearing extremely tall heels. apparently Loesch is a Christian with a tattoo on her right arm a call for Christians to ” Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes (Ephesians 6:10). God of course was a member of the NRA.

 

Then there is the hapless Marco Rubio who refused to stop making money from the NRA.

 

Already he is in hock for $3.3 million. a truly great American leader.

 

NO

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Corruption on a Massive Scale

February 21, 2018

 

Netanyahu-corruption-charges-Israel-MondoweissJonathan Ofir is one of those Israelis who had enough of Zionist theft and corruption and so like so many others he shlepped off to another country—Denmark

 

In this edited article (Mondoweiss) below he makes the important point about not being sidetracked about a person’s particular moral failings. He takes issue with Tom Segev’s new biography (not yet released) of Ben-Gurion.

 

With new access to files Segev discovered the great leader was an adulterer of massive proportions and as we see below, Segev does ask the question that if the leader isn’t faithful to his wife, maybe he’s not faithful to his voters, either. If he cheats on her, maybe he cheats on them, too.”

 

To Segev, Ben-Gurion compared to Netanyahu was a knight in shining armour. Abstemious in his personal habits. he was not corrupt.

This is too much for thoughtful people like Ofir and Gideon Levy.

 
Ben-Gurion like many Zionists despite eschewing cigars and champagne (Netanyahu) was “corrupt on a grand national scale.”

Ofir writes:

Indeed, as the title suggests, the novel aspect of this new book appears to be the new discoveries about Ben-Gurion’s sex life – where he had four mistresses, and where one of them was a steady sexual relationship lasting 40 years from 1926.

 
Segev responds to the question of where the boundary runs between cheap gossip and material of historical value, and why he interested himself in Ben-Gurion’s sex life: “The first answer is the standard one – that if the leader isn’t faithful to his wife, maybe he’s not faithful to his voters, either. If he cheats on her, maybe he cheats on them, too,” he says.

 
“But all in all, Segev appears to believe that Ben-Gurion was definitely not corrupt – supposedly because he didn’t smoke cigars or drink champagne, even though he had systematic extra-marital affairs and even though he didn’t pay for his books and house.
Alright, let’s pause there.
We know that smoking cigars and drinking champagne are not crimes in themselves. It is always about something other than the appearance. It does not matter if Netanyahu did not ever cheat on his wife. Still, he could be corrupt by other means. The champagne and cigars don’t corrupt him per se. It’s about a bigger picture, that can have many appearances.

 
Now, was Ben-Gurion really a “man of integrity”?

 

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When I was about 15, I had attended a lecture by the legendary professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz. Leibowitz is the one who coined the term ‘Judeo-Nazis’, and was hailed as “one of the greatest figures in the life of the Jewish people and the State of Israel in recent generations” by Former President Ezer Weizman, who added that he was “a spiritual conscience for many in Israel.” Leibowitz said something at that lecture which I never forgot. It was one short sentence:

 
Ben-Gurion was a man of many virtues. Truth was not one of them”.
At the point, I was ignorant of the details of Ben Gurion’s deceptions. Nonetheless, Leibowitz’s sentence was etched in my consciousness, perhaps due to the shock effect of having this heroic persona (Ben-Gurion) simply being called a liar. It was only many years later, that I began to learn about the details of Ben Gurion’s corruption on the grand national scale.

 
In 1937, Ben-Gurion wrote to his son Amos how acceptance of Partition (it was the Peel Commission partition plan) was not an end but a beginning:
“My assumption (which is why I am a fervent proponent of a state, even though it is now linked to partition) is that a Jewish state on only part of the land is not the end but the beginning. When we acquire one thousand or 10,000 dunams, we feel elated. It does not hurt our feelings that by this acquisition we are not in possession of the whole land. This is because this increase in possession is of consequence not only in itself, but because through it we increase our strength, and every increase in strength helps in the possession of the land as a whole. The establishment of a state, even if only on a portion of the land, is the maximal reinforcement of our strength at the present time and a powerful boost to our historical endeavors to liberate the entire country.”

 
In other words, Ben-Gurion knew fully well, that any acceptance of a partial territory is not committing. It’s just a means of getting some legitimacy, from which to grow power and with which to eventually “liberate the entire country”.

 
But as Ben-Gurion wrote to his son above, “this increase in possession is of consequence not only in itself, but because through it we increase our strength, and every increase in strength helps in the possession of the land as a whole”. And then came 1967, and the task was territorially completed.

 

All these things are colonialist conspiracies which are corrupt in their very essence. In fact, Israel’s second Prime Minister Moshe Sharett had noted this aspect clearly:
“I have learned that the state of Israel cannot be ruled in our generation without deceit and adventurism. These are historical facts that cannot be altered”, he said.
So even according to Sharett, Ben Gurion had to be a deceitful leader.
Now, has this essentially changed much? I would say not. The deceit that Zionism applies in order to cover up for its colonialist designs to erase Palestine is a constant factor, and the goal is always corrupt. It’s even genocidal in its very essence. Author and journalist Ben Ehrenriech:
“The question about genocide– yes, it’s an incremental genocide. And I think that’s a word that gives a lot of people pause and it certainly should. We don’t see the absolutely mass slaughters, although in Gaza I think we’ve seen something very much like it that we usually associate with genocide. But– the attempts to erase a people, to just erase them, to erase their history, I think follow a logic that can only be called genocidal.”
Grand scale horror

So what is the place of corruption at the level of bribery, extra-marital affairs, unpaid bills, cigars and champagne measured against that grand-scale horror? Indeed, the bigger picture brings these things into perspective.

 
This is why Netanyahu’s personal corruptions, measured against the grand scale, are somewhat irrelevant to Palestinians. And it’s not like there’s hope ahead, even if he does resign. Haaretz journalist Gideon Levy wrote last week that “we may miss Netanyahu yet”, listing the options, and focusing particularly on the ‘centrist liberal’ Yair Lapid, whom I call ‘the pretty face of ultranationalism’ – the man with the motto “maximum Jews on maximum land with maximum security and with minimum Palestinians”. Levy says about Netanyahu that “his heirs may steer clear of cigars and champagne, but none of them can fix Israel’s great corruption – the institutionalized state corruption arising from 50 years of occupation”.

 

Levy
I think Levy is being too generous, too mild, even too apologetic. That corruption goes back way further than 50 years.

 

Personally, I have generally refrained from going into detail of Netanyahu’s personal corruptions in all my writings so far. I have instinctively felt, that doing so contained the danger of distracting from the greater national corruption. This is also why I haven’t gone into detail here. I’m not saying Netanyahu’s personal corruption or Ben-Gurion’s personal corruption are irrelevant. But if you really think about the Palestinians, they have been nationally raped by Zionism from the start. You can’t do that and still be a “man [or woman] of integrity”.

 

 

 

Jonathan Ofir is an Israeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.

 

The Obscene American Budget

February 20, 2018

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Budgets of course are moral documents and the US budget is obscene and immoral.
Budgets reflect the priorities of a country and America’s is beyond the pale, a hymn to violence and fear, a robbery from the common good of citizen support and needed infrastructure. Imagine gutting health to feed the already too wealthy. People are left in the dust.
The gross irony is that this is the most church going country in the world—with a deformed and broken type of Christianity in the lead and in need of conversion.

 

The tireless religious leader Jim Wallis said it best outside the US Capitol
Jesus said: “I was hungry and you gave me food.” Cutting Meals on Wheels, SNAP, and WIC to pay for more tanks is a moral choice. Cutting essential humanitarian foreign aid to a famine-and conflict-riven world to build more weapons … is also a moral choice.

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“Jesus said I was sick, and you visited me.” Cutting, rationing, and ultimately ending Medicaid as a health guarantee for our poorest and sickest people is a moral choice.

 

“Jesus said, I was a stranger, and you welcomed me.” Demonizing our immigrants and refugees and planning to build a wall against them — that more cuts to the poor will be used to pay for — is a moral choice.

 

“Jesus said, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink.” Cutting environmental protections, which leads to massive droughts all over the world, is a moral choice.
“Jesus said, I was in prison, and you visited me.” Mass incarceration based on race that disenfranchises men and women of color is a moral choice.

Marco Rubio with thoughts and prayers

February 18, 2018

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The great French novelist Jean Giono when asked why he rejected Christianity replied I do not want to be one of those people who walk across a battlefield with flowers in their hands.”

 

Meet Marco Rubio, Florida senator, professional Catholic and NRA stooge who fits the description to a T.

 

When one thinks of Rubio the Shakespearian line leaps out,”ambition should be made of sterner stuff.”
Rubio it turns out is a “professional Catholic.”He bounced as a son of Cuban emigres from Catholicism to Mormons to a Southern Baptist megachurch and now back to the Catholic tribe.And always in hock to the NRA whee he gets an A plus rating to go along with the $3 million he’s taken from this powerful lobby group.
Now after the latest mass murder in his home state Rubio, flowers clasped close to his chest has offered his thoughts and prayers and as always his resistance to any form of gun control.

FL

 

Three cheers for a great Catholic, Marco Rubio,  the senator with a fresh batch of flowers walking across school grounds littered by seventeen new bodies.

Will Canada Make up for Its Sad Anti-Palestinian History?

February 16, 2018

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By Yves Engler

The anti-Palestinian consensus among Canada’s three main political parties is crumbling and NDP members could bury it this weekend.

 

After taking an all-expense paid trip to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s conference in Washington and participating in a Jewish National Fund event in Israel 14 months ago, the NDP’s foreign critic has begun challenging Canada’s contribution to Palestinian dispossession.

Hélène Laverdière has repeatedly criticized the Trudeau government’s silence on Donald Trump’s decision to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. In response she tweeted, “a devastating day for those who believe in peace, justice and security in the Middle East. Where is Canada’s voice in protest of Trump’s decision on #Jerusalem? I urge Canada to condemn this decision in the strongest of terms.”

 

The party’s foreign critic also asked the federal government to condemn Israel’s detention of 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi and hundreds of other Palestinian children who are usually tortured by Israeli forces.

 

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Similarly, Laverdière has pressed Ottawa to properly label products from illegal Israeli settlements and submitted a petitionto Parliament calling “upon the Government of Canada to demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”

 

Two weeks ago I received an email on behalf of party leader Jagmeet Singh titled “all people deserve the same human rights”, which listed the party’s recent support for Palestinian rights. It noted,

 

“the NDP shares your concerns about Palestine. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and his team of New Democrats have a consistent record of defending Palestinian rights as well as raising concerns over Islamophobia.”

 

A series of factors are likely driving Laverdière’s shift. She probably never backed former NDP leader Tom – “I am an ardent supporter of Israel in all situations and in all circumstances” – Mulcair’s position. Additionally, last year’s NDP leadership race unleashed ever bolder expressions of support for the Palestinian cause.

Amidst the campaign, Laverdière was criticized for speaking at AIPAC’s 2016 conference in Washington and participating in an event put on by the explicitly racist Jewish National Fund. In August the NDP Socialist Caucus called for her resignation as foreign critic and it has submitted a motion to this weekend’s convention calling for her to be removed from that position.

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Ottawa’s high-profile abstention at the UN General Assembly after Donald Trump announced that he would move the US Embassy to Jerusalem has given the NDP an opportunity to distinguish itself from the Trudeau government. And media coverage of subsequent Palestinian resistance, most notably Ahed Tamimi’s courageous slaps, has provided additional opportunities to highlight the Liberal’s extreme anti-Palestinianism.

 

The NDP leadership is also trying to head off members calls to boycott Israel (according to a 2017 Ekos poll, 84% of NDP members were open to sanctioning Israel). At least five resolutions (among more than ten concerning Palestine/Israel) submitted to the convention call for some type of boycott of Israel.

 

The NDP Socialist Caucus has called on the party to “actively campaign” in support of the (just nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize) Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement’s demands. With probably more backing than any of the 100+ resolutions submitted, 30 riding associations/youth committees endorsed “Palestine Resolution”, which calls for “banning settlement products from Canadian markets, and using other forms of diplomatic and economic pressure to end the occupation.” Of course party leaders fear the media response to any type of boycott resolution being adopted.

 

Whatever the reason for Laverdière’s shift away from anti-Palestinianism, it remains insufficient. As I’ve detailed, the NDP continues to provide various forms of support to Israel and the party has an odious anti-Palestinian history. In the mid-1970s the party opposed Palestinian Liberation Organization participation in two UN conferences in Toronto and Vancouver and party leader Ed Broadbent called the PLO “terrorists and murderers whose aim is the destruction of the state of Israel.”

 

That year NDP icon Tommy Douglas also told the Histadrut labor federation: “The main enmity against Israel is that she has been an affront to those nations who do not treat their people and their workers as well as Israel has treated hers.” (Douglas’ 1975 speech was made while Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and Sinai, after it repeatedly invaded its neighbors and ethnically cleansed 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland.)

 

A progressive party worth its salt campaigns on an international issue in equal measure to its government/society’s contribution to that injustice. Over the past century Canada has played no small part in Palestinians dispossession. Hundreds of Canadians provided military force to realize the crassly anti-Palestinian Balfour Declaration and this country’s diplomats played a central role in the UN’s decision to give the Zionist movement most of Palestine in 1947.

 

Today, Ottawa regularly votes against Palestinian rights at the UN and subsidizes dozens of charities that channel tens of millions of dollars to projects supporting Israel’s powerful military, racist institutions and illegal settlements.

CRITIC ISr

 

Additionally, Canada’s two-decade-old free trade agreement with Israel allows settlement products to enter Canada duty-free and over the past decade Ottawa has delivered over $100 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority in an explicit bid to advance Israel’s interests by building a security apparatus to protect the corrupt Palestinian Authority from popular disgust over its compliance in the face of ongoing Israeli settlement building.

 

Hopefully, in the years to come the NDP can help Canada make up for its sad anti-Palestinian history. Perhaps this weekend the party will finally bury official Canada’s anti-Palestinian consensus.

 
I will be speaking about “What’s Wrong with NDP Foreign Policy?” on the sidelines of the convention.

 

– Yves Engler is the author of Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid and a number of other books.. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Visit his website: yvesengler.com.

An Object of Reverence

February 15, 2018

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After the horrendous mass murder in Sandy Hook,Connecticut Gary Wills wrote this on Dec. 15, 2012 in the NY Review of Books.
We used to think DENIAL was a river in Africa now we know it’s bizarro world south of the 49th parallel.

And the beat goes on

Few crimes are more harshly forbidden in the Old Testament than sacrifice to the god Moloch (for which see Leviticus 18.21, 20.1-5). The sacrifice referred to was of living children consumed in the fires of offering to Moloch. Ever since then, worship of Moloch has been the sign of a deeply degraded culture. Ancient Romans justified the destruction of Carthage by noting that children were sacrificed to Moloch there. Milton represented Moloch as the first pagan god who joined Satan’s war on humankind:

 
First Moloch, horrid king, besmear’d with blood
Of human sacrifice, and parents’ tears,
Though for the noise of Drums and Timbrels loud
Their children’s cries unheard, that pass’d through fire 
To his grim idol. (Paradise Lost 1.392-96)
Read again those lines, with recent images seared into our brains—“besmeared with blood” and “parents’ tears.” They give the real meaning of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School Friday morning. That horror cannot be blamed just on one unhinged person. It was the sacrifice we as a culture made, and continually make, to our demonic god. We guarantee that crazed man after crazed man will have a flood of killing power readily supplied him. We have to make that offering, out of devotion to our Moloch, our god. The gun is our Moloch. We sacrifice children to him daily—sometimes, as at Sandy Hook, by directly throwing them into the fire-hose of bullets from our protected private killing machines, sometimes by blighting our children’s lives by the death of a parent, a schoolmate, a teacher, a protector. Sometimes this is done by mass killings (eight this year), sometimes by private offerings to the god (thousands this year).
The gun is not a mere tool, a bit of technology, a political issue, a point of debate. It is an object of reverence. Devotion to it precludes interruption with the sacrifices it entails. Like most gods, it does what it will, and cannot be questioned. Its acolytes think it is capable only of good things. It guarantees life and safety and freedom. It even guarantees law. Law grows from it. Then how can law question it?

 

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Its power to do good is matched by its incapacity to do anything wrong. It cannot kill. Thwarting the god is what kills. If it seems to kill, that is only because the god’s bottomless appetite for death has not been adequately fed. The answer to problems caused by guns is more guns, millions of guns, guns everywhere, carried openly, carried secretly, in bars, in churches, in offices, in government buildings. Only the lack of guns can be a curse, not their beneficent omnipresence.

 
Adoration of Moloch permeates the country, imposing a hushed silence as he works his will. One cannot question his rites, even as the blood is gushing through the idol’s teeth. The White House spokesman invokes the silence of traditional in religious ceremony. “It is not the time” to question Moloch. No time is right for showing disrespect for Moloch.
The fact that the gun is a reverenced god can be seen in its manifold and apparently resistless powers. How do we worship it? Let us count the ways:

 

ID
1. It has the power to destroy the reasoning process. It forbids making logical connections. We are required to deny that there is any connection between the fact that we have the greatest number of guns in private hands and the greatest number of deaths from them. Denial on this scale always comes from or is protected by religious fundamentalism. Thus do we deny global warming, or evolution, or biblical errancy. Reason is helpless before such abject faith.

 
2. It has the power to turn all our politicians as a class into invertebrate and mute attendants at the shrine. None dare suggest that Moloch can in any way be reined in without being denounced by the pope of this religion, National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre, as trying to destroy Moloch, to take away all guns. They whimper and say they never entertained such heresy. Many flourish their guns while campaigning, or boast that they have themselves hunted “varmints.” Better that the children die or their lives be blasted than that a politician should risk an election against the dread sentence of NRA excommunication.

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3. It has the power to distort our constitutional thinking. It says that the right to “bear arms,” a military term, gives anyone, anywhere in our country, the power to mow down civilians with military weapons. Even the Supreme Court has been cowed, reversing its own long history of recognizing that the Second Amendment applied to militias. Now the court feels bound to guarantee that any every madman can indulge his “religion” of slaughter. Moloch brooks no dissent, even from the highest court in the land.

 

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Though LaPierre is the pope of this religion, its most successful Peter the Hermit, preaching the crusade for Moloch, was Charlton Heston, a symbol of the Americanism of loving guns. I have often thought that we should raise a statue of Heston at each of the many sites of multiple murders around our land. We would soon have armies of statues, whole droves of Heston acolytes standing sentry at the shrines of Moloch dotting the landscape. Molochism is the one religion that can never be separated from the state. The state itself bows down to Moloch, and protects the sacrifices made to him. So let us celebrate the falling bodies and rising statues as a demonstration of our fealty, our bondage, to the great god Gun.

 

Steve Miller, amnesiac

February 14, 2018

Bradley Burston is a Haaretz columnist and Senior Editor of Haaretz.com which publishes his blog, “A Special Place in Hell.”Burston is an American Jew now living in Israel. he is part of a great resurgence of “Jews with a Conscience” who are appalled at the amnesia which comes with power and affluence.

BURST

Miller the DACA-killer: Trump Aide a Disgrace to Jews, and to Our Common Roots

Stephen Millers family came from my dads village, in Belarus. Immigration is why Steve and I are both alive; now its his job to help kill the program protecting young immigrants to the U.S.

I take the killing of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program very personally. And one of its killers, as well.

Stephen Miller is my lantsman (Yiddish for countryman).. His people come from my dads hometown, the shtetl of Antopol, in what is today Belarus.

As President Donald Trumps senior advisor for policy, he is by far the most famous person descended from the villagers of Antopol.

He’s also a disgrace.

MIL

 

As the presidents point man on immigration, its his job to help kill the DACA program and jeopardize the future of 800,000 so-called Dreamers, who were brought to America as children, Americans in every sense but citizenship.
I cant help but take this personally. Immigration is why Steve and I are both alive.

Helping to kill DACA and curb immigration are why Steve is a disgrace to the memory of that town, to the memory of what the Nazis did there to the people who couldnt escape and immigrate to the United States.

 

Because once upon a time, before World War II, a Republican president and a Republican Senate and a Republican House of Representatives made a law that choked off immigration. One of their main targets was the immigration of Jews from Eastern Europe, from places like Antopol.

 

My dad and his family were among the lucky ones. They got out in time. So were Stephen Millers great-grandparents, the Glotzers. They were part of the immigrant wave that anti-Semites called steerage slime.

 

If they hadnt gotten out, they would have been rounded up when the Nazis came. They would have been taken to the woods, told to take off their clothes and to bring soap and a towel for the washing stations they were told were at the end of the path through the tree

 

It took the SS four days to shoot to death all of Antopols 2,300 Jews.In his devoted service to Trump, if Steve has proved one thing, over and over, its that hes a disgrace to the Jews.

 

Here is the communications expert who haughtily, and in front of millions of viewers, on live television, belittled and misrepresented as not actually part of the original Statue of Liberty the American-Jewish poet Emma Lazarus revered The New Colossus, words that have welcomed millions of immigrants to America.

 

NEVER

 

Here is the man who was not only a principal architect of the Muslim travel ban, aimed at barring entry to the United States on the basis of a non-Christian religion, but who also publicly and stridently questioned the principle of courts to even have a say on decisions made by the president.

 

But these and a clutch of other words and actions all take a back seat to the fundamental malevolence of Steves latest masterwork, in concert with the president he serves as no other.

 

Their response to the Nazis who raged in Charlottesville, Virginia and to the horrific flooding that overwhelmed Houston, was Okay — quick, lets change the subject.
Lets change it to immigration.

 

Lets show the Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan and the militiamen just how intentionally cruel we can get. Lets kill the Dreamers program.

 

But heres the irony: Steve couldnt be the one to make the announcement.   It had to be someone to whom even the KKK would listen.

 

Because after all these years, even after serving under Michele Bachmann and Jeff Sessions and Steve Bannon, after all of his gun-nut, Christmas-adoring, racially tinged Republican ultraconservatism, Steves still not a real American. Hes still just an heir to unwanted Jews from Eastern Europe.

 

When you need to feed the base, bench the Jew.

 

Send in a real American. Someone like Steve’s old boss, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, born in then-segregated Selma, Alabama, the third in his direct line to be named for Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, and for the confederate general who led the attack that launched the Civil War.

 

Real Americans all. Not like my lantsman Steve. And after all hes done.

 

JVP and BDS Common Sense

February 13, 2018

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The Palestinian-led movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize!
Bjørnar Moxnes, the Norwegian Member of Parliament who formally made the nomination, said:
“Awarding this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to the BDS movement would be a powerful signal, emphasising the international community’s commitment to support a just peace for the Palestinian people... the Israeli people and all people in the Middle East – and the world at large.”
This announcement and the wide coverage given to the shocking treatment of children in Israel’s prisons has sent the Zionist thought police into a massive flameout. the old and laughable canard about the outbreak of “the new anti-Semitism has been revved up once again. and it is largely failing as the Israel-firsters no longer control the narrative.there is simply too much evidence about the 50 year occupation.

 

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The prophetic American group Jewish Voice for Peace recently wrote:
I don’t have to tell you how well-deserved this nomination is. For the past 12 years, people all over the world, often at great personal risk, have come together with this simple, irrefutable message:
Palestinians deserve justice, freedom, and dignity just like everyone else. 

 
BDS stands in the same proud tradition of nonviolent resistance as the Montgomery bus boycotts, the United Farm Workers grape boycott, the boycott against South African apartheid, Gandhi’s boycott of British goods… the list goes on.  And we know history will include BDS on that list.
In fact, we know it will be a model for grassroots movements to come. Using the BDS call as a strategic and moral guide, people all over the world have leveraged their power to wage unbelievably creative campaigns, driven by a truly beautiful and inclusive vision of what the world can be.
And just imagine the leap forward our work could take if BDS actually won the Nobel Peace Prize. Then they ask:

 
Sign our petition and tell the Nobel Committee: the movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions deserves recognition— because Palestinians deserve to be free.

 

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Today— as was the case with all those other boycotts, in their time— not everyone sees BDS for the principled movement that it is. Every day, BDS activists are attacked by those devoted to defending Israel’s apartheid system.
That’s why it’s so important to come out strong in our support for this nomination. And that’s why JVP and PSC have come together to advocate for this important recognition.
The Nobel Committee will publish a shortlist of nominees by the end of September. We need to lift our collective voice as high as we can today, and seize this opportunity to take a meaningful step towards justice.

 
Let’s show the Nobel Committee how many people around the world agree with this nomination, and want to see the BDS movement recognized for its vital and courageous work for human rights.

BDS nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

February 9, 2018

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Norwegian parliamentarian Bjørnar Moxnes officially nominated the BDS movement for Palestinian rights for a Nobel Peace Prize. He did so with the support of his party, the progressive Rødt (Red) Party, explaining why BDS “should be supported without reservation by all democratically-minded people and states.”

 

Statement by Norwegian Parliamentarian Bjørnar Moxnes on Nominating the BDS Movement for Palestinian Rights for a Nobel Peace Prize:

 

As a member of the Norwegian parliament, I proudly use my authority as an elected official to nominate the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights for the Nobel Peace Prize.

 
Nominating the BDS movement for this recognition is perfectly in line with the principles I and my party hold very dear. Like the BDS movement, we are fully committed to stopping an ascendent, racist and right-wing politics sweeping too much of our world, and securing freedom, justice and equality for all people.

Bjørnar_Moxnes

Bjørnar Moxnes

 
Inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement and the American Civil Rights movement, the grassroots, Palestinian-led BDS movement is a peaceful, global human rights movement that urges the use of economic and cultural boycotts to end Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights and international law.

 
The BDS movement seeks to end Israel’s half-century of military rule over 4.5 million Palestinians, including the devastating ten-year illegal siege collectively punishing and suffocating nearly 2 million Palestinians in Gaza, the ongoing forcible eviction of Palestinians from their homes, and the theft of Palestinian land through the construction of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. It seeks equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel, currently discriminated against by dozens of racist laws, and to secure the internationally-recognized legal right of Palestinian refugees to return to homes and lands from which they were expelled. Palestinian refugees constitute nearly 50 percent of all Palestinians, and they are being denied their right to return, guaranteed by law to all refugees, simply because of their ethnicity.

 
The BDS movement’s aims and aspirations for basic human rights are irreproachable. They should be supported without reservation by all democratically-minded people and states.

 
The international community has a longstanding history of supporting peaceful measures such as boycotts and disinvestment against companies that profit from human rights violations. International support for such measures was critical in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa and the racist colonial regime in former Rhodesia.
If the international community commits to supporting BDS to end the occupation of Palestinian territory and the oppression of the Palestinian people, new hope will be lit for a just peace for Palestinians, Israelis and all people across the Middle East.

 
The BDS movement has been endorsed by prominent figures, including the former Nobel Peace Prize winners Desmond Tutu and Mairead Maguire. It is gaining support from unions, academic associations, churches, and grassroots movements for the rights of refugees, immigrants, workers, women, indigenous peoples and the LGBTQI community. It is increasingly embraced by progressive Jewish groups and anti-racist movements across the world.

 
Eleven years since BDS’ launch, it’s high time for us to commit to doing no harm, and for all states to withdraw their complicity in Israel’s military occupation, racist apartheid rule, ongoing theft of Palestinian land, and other egregious human rights violations. Awarding a Nobel Peace Prize to the BDS movement would be a powerful sign demonstrating that the international community is committed to supporting a just peace in the Middle East and using peaceful means to end military rule and broader violations of international law.

 
My hope is that this nomination can be one humble but necessary step towards bringing forth a more dignified and beautiful future for all peoples of the region.

 

 

 

Blind guides of Israel

February 8, 2018

The irony could not be more acidic in this Feb. 6 column by Amira Hass. This brave Israeli columnist excoriates the “bad religion” of too many ultra orthodox religious leaders in Israel. In the words of another Palestinian Jewish rabbi who ripped into the “blind guides” of his time and said,” “You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.”(Matt.23:24) hass points out the stunning hypocrisy and blindness of these putative “leaders.”

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She is particularly cutting about their obvious avoidance of the Decalogue, several of whose commandments (those “shall nots” of robbery, murder, covet, false witness ) are breached on a daily basis in Israel today.

 

The terrible sadness, of course, is the almost total amnesia of one Judaism’s great gifts to the world, prophetic utterance.

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However as Jewish American theologian Marc Ellis has often commented, the prophetic never dies, it simply bypasses official religious establishment. It then reappears in the secular garb of scribes like Hass and Levy.

 

The avoidance of the universal values of Judaism such as social justice (present in the Abrahamic religions) is a persistent phenomenon in these religions. Blind guides are omnipresent. within Christianity simply look at the bizarre theology of Christian Zionists and american Christians where flag often submerges prophetic faith

 

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Here Is Amira Hass

 

Secular Israelis Are Wasting Time Squabbling Over Shabbat
Instead of thanking the heads of the faith-based parties for exempting us from religious laws and commandments, you secular people squabble over petty matters and risk passing the divine promise’s expiration date

 

Secular Jews are petty and ungrateful in opposing the modest demand of Haredim not to open groceries on Shabbat.

 

Why petty? Because never before have so many secular pleasures been available on Shabbat, restaurants and movie theaters and the like, and the “supermarket law” doesn’t seal these loopholes. Why ingrates? Because ultra-Orthodox Jews, Zionist and non-, are the earthly intermediaries between us and our God. Their lifestyle and their faith, their devotion and daily prayers are the silver platter holding God’s promise that the land will belong to us, the seed of Abraham. In the absence of DNA, how can we prove we are his seed if we don’t observe Shabbat and kashrut, which always set us apart from the nations of the world?

 

The Haredim and their party leaders bent the rules for us, and not only on the commandment “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” There are other commandments whose observance they did not make a condition for remaining in the governing coalition or being recognized as the seed of Abraham. “Honor thy father and mother”: In our society old age, especially for women, is cause for shame and for abuse from National Insurance Institute. “Thou shalt not steal”: We haven’t heard our rabbis protesting the theft of private and public land by declaring it state land.

 

They also generously skipped “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house.” This commandment is openly violated in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Baka and Talbieh, Ein Kerem, Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah, and in Tel Aviv’s Givat Amal. The holy commandment prohibiting murder is regularly violated here, aided by breaking the commandment “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” We take human life and falsely claim that our lives were in danger. We swear the target was military, and conceal the fact that the victims were civilians.

 
Have you ever heard of the leading rabbis and the heads of the faith-based parties being shocked at this wholesale violation? Have you heard them agonizing over the failure to observe the commandment to love the stranger, the African asylum seeker, because we were strangers in Egypt?

 

 

Instead of thanking the heads of the faith-based parties for exempting us from religious laws and commandments, you secular people squabble over petty matters and risk passing the divine promise’s expiration date. What would be left to justify and reinforce our being here?

 

You may say, the fact that we were born here and live here, speaking Hebrew and creating culture. To that we will reply: That’s not enough. After all, the Palestinians were born here, and live here, and are creating culture and speaking Palestinian Arabic. All that didn’t help them, and they were expelled and are being expelled from their country and their homeland.

 

You may say: The United Nations resolution. And we will reply, “Oom Schmoom, a bunch of anti-Semites from backward countries.

 

You will insist and say: Anti-Semitism. So what have you done? You’ve only confirmed old arguments about the Gordian knot tying Jew-haters, may their name be erased, to the founders of Zionism, of blessed memory. It’s as though you had pointed to the similarity between the disgust felt by the new Jew, Zionist and blond, for the Jews of the shtetl and the mellah (Moroccan ghetto), and the hatred of non-Jews for wearers of shtreimels (traditional Hasidic fur hats), carriers of the virus of communism and owners of banks and media outlets.

 

You may say: What justifies our existence is the fact that we are a place of refuge for Jews, when hostile regimes in Arab countries and Iran rose up against them to expel them. And we will reply: That’s like saying that Zionism and the settlement of the land depend only on disasters, like the waves of immigration from Argentina and Russia in the wake of economic crises.

 

The Holocaust, you may say. And to that we will reply: God forbid. Saying that the Holocaust brought us to the land of hamsins and housing projects is like saying that Zionism would not have succeeded without Hitler, and that Jews wouldn’t have been crazy enough to come here in order to expel another nation from its homeland.

 

The divine promise is the only justification for our existence here, and you’re quarreling over a shopping mall in Ashdod?